How Council funding helped grow greener, more resilient high streets

Council funding to help Hackney’s high streets and town centres recover from the pandemic has helped create greener, more resilient and more connected businesses, a new council report has shown.

The Hackney Town Centres and High Streets Fund Insights & Impact report highlights some of the benefits of a £500,000 Council fund developed as part of a wider programme of Council-led business support to help local businesses following the coronavirus pandemic.

The fund helped 39 local businesses, with a further £269,600 spent with 254 local suppliers, £120,000 additional funding brought into Hackney, resulting in:

  • More connected businesses - with 154,000 people engaged with.
  • More resilient businesses – with 92% feeling more resilient
  • Growing businesses –  with 82% seeing increased footfall
  • Greener businesses – with 35.55 tonnes of carbon saved per month
Cllr Guy Nicholson, Deputy Mayor and Cabinet Member for Delivery, Inclusive Economy and Regeneration

This report shows the impact this funding has had in helping businesses not just to get by but to grow and innovate – becoming more resilient, better connected to the local community and providing new job and training opportunities for local people.

The 39 projects funded through the programme are all examples of how, with the right support and by working together we can build a more inclusive and circular economy, create more livable town centres, move towards our net zero ambitions, and keep Hackney’s high streets and town centres thriving.

Cllr Guy Nicholson, Deputy Mayor and Cabinet Member for Delivery, Inclusive Economy and Regeneration

The Hackney Town Centres and High Streets Fund is part of a £2.5 million post-covid business support programme funded via the Government’s covid support package.

Read the High Streets and Town Centres and Insights and Impact report.

Case studies

Brunswick East
Brunswick East turned an empty rooftop in Gillett Square into the largest food producing rooftop allotment in London. They built 50 square metres of growing space and grew enough food to sell nearly 10,000 items in the cafe, reducing their waste by over 240 kg per month and saving 34 tonnes of Co2. Over the summer, over 450 people attended workshops and in partnership with neighbouring businesses and community organisations in the square fed 100 local people at a free community feast with rooftop grown food. 

Hackney Social
Keep on Moving at the Hackney Social was created to showcase a mix of 32 outstanding emerging artists of Black and Asian backgrounds, performing recognised as Black music genres. 18 events drew audiences from across London to Bohemia Place to see the only dedicated live showcase specifically aimed at supporting these artists.

See You In Stokey
Stoke Newington Business Association created the See You In Stokey website and brand for the area, listing 172 local cafes, restaurants, shops and pubs that has since had 33,000 pages views and 13,000 visitors. They ran a number of high profile events on the street, including the biggest Christmas light switch on in the borough, bringing thousands of people to the high street.

Felstead Studios
Felstead Studios in Hackney Wick created a central platform to promote over 50 artist portfolios supporting and exposing local artists to the local and wider community. They successfully hosted three exhibitions at Felstead Studios and The Trampery Fish Island, 83 meetings and mentoring sessions, and three sale events.